Here we have highlighted some of the projects that are technically supported by GAL. Most are coordinated with the ND community to meet their research goals using geospatial techniques. Browse the links to the left to learn more about these exciting projects.

Detecting Subsurface Agricultural Tile Drainage using GIS and Remote Sensing Technique  

  • Project Period: 2015
  • Contributor: Milan Budhathoki and Kemal Gokkaya.
  • Researchers: Jennifer Tank, Sheila Christopher and Brittany Hanrahan
  • Department: Environmental Change Initiative (ECI) 

Subsurface tile drainage is a common practice in many of the row crop dominated agricultural lands in the Upper Midwest, which increases yield by making the soil more productive. It is reported that nearly half of all cropland in Indiana benefits from some sort of artificial drainage. However, subsurface tile has a significant negative impact on surface water quality by providing a fast means of transport for nutrients from fertilizers. Therefore, generating spatial data of tile drainage in the field is important and useful for agricultural landscape and hydrological studies. Subsurface tile drains in Indiana’s croplands are not widely mapped. In this study, Geospatial Analysis Lab (GAL) will provide GIS/RS service to Dr. Tank (Principal Investigator) and her team to map agriculture tile drainage in Shatto Ditch watershed, located in Kosciusko County, Indiana. The results are expected to contribute to better characterizing and controlling water pollution sources in Indiana, which is a major environmental problem.

Shatto Ditch

Figure 1: Study Area (Shatto Ditch Watershed)         


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Figure 2: Image Enhancement to Detect Tiles